Tag Archives: battery

Taking a chance on a broken camera

After my last post about the Chinon CE-4 I wondered if I could fix another with the same process. So I search eBay for listings that stated “for parts” and “mirror locked”. I found a few and sent offer requests, I didn’t want to pay a lot on a gamble. One was accepted, this one…

The listing said the shutter was jammed. I offered £5 and it was accepted. So a few days later it arrived and looked a state. When I put some batteries in it, nothing lit up. This was more than just a shutter jam as the light meter should still have worked and the battery check light should have activated. The mirror was also in the correct place.

I took the bottom off and checked it with my working version. They both looked the same. So then I pondered a bit, always my mind goes back to Occam’s Razor, the simplest answer is usually the best. So maybe the batteries? I checked those and they were fine. The battery holder? I swapped the ones I had from camera to camera and yatta…the original working camera no longer worked, and the new broken camera now did.

So it was the battery holder. But then, why didn’t it? It is just a holder, no electronics. Something must be stopping the connection, how to fix that? First I tried some tinfoil in it. That didn’t work, but I noticed a slight green tint on the outside. That must be residue from a leaking battery. There was no damage in the compartment, just a slight, very slight green tint on the holder. Nothing to lose really, so I tried soaking the cap end in vinegar for a few minutes. Once I thoroughly dried it, I reinserted it into the broken camera, yatta, it worked. To be honest I think that is very weird, but don’t knock a gift horse in the mouth. I now have a working CE-4 that only cost a fiver. A camera that looks like crap, but I can fix that. Lo and behold another Spiderman camera.

I don’t need two Spidies so will be selling this one to recoup my high outlay 🙂

Ricoh 800 EES

This is another swapped camera, I still have quite a few to go through from that pile of swaps.

This one is from 1974 and while searching for it online, the word rare came up a few times. It was quite tricky to find any information about it. From the information I did find, it has shutter speeds from 4 seconds to 1/800th. That is where the 800 in the name comes from. You can find all the technical details you need here..in French.

As you would have seen in the details I linked to, this camera uses an awkwardly sized battery. The person I got the camera from had a clever workaround which meant I could use the more convenient LR44. A pile of tinfoil wrapped in electrical tape. The other slot was a perfect size for 2 LR44, which are a slightly higher voltage. You might need to change the asa settings if you try this.

I took the camera to Bradford city center and Moses Gate Country Park. The weather, as usual, was rainy and cloudy. I used Fomapan 100 and pushed it to 400, though the camera does have a setting for 800asa film. I found the camera very quiet, but a little disturbing as there was no information in the viewfinder at all. The rangefinders second image was very faint so I added a piece of black tape to the viewfinder to aid focusing.

When I finally finished the film I developed it as usual and waited for it to dry. Then shock horror, my scanner would not turn on. SERIOUSLY!!! It is three months old and I haven’t used it often. I tried different cables, different sockets, but nothing I did would bring it back to life. I was left with the task of calling Canon. The guy on the line was very helpful, but it didn’t make it magically work again. I had to send it to their one and only service center in the UK. It came back in less than a week with a new power “thingy”. It was a bit of a worry as I am working part-time at the moment and scanners are not really essential or cheap. Anyway, I can recommend the Canon service center in the UK.

Moses Country Park

Bradford

I do also have a cheap portable 35mm scanner. Though the cheap scanner’s results are ok, it crops a lot of the image. Neither scanners are as sharp as I would like. Here are some side by side scans from the two ones I have.

Ok, my final thoughts. I love this camera. If you can find a good one get it but be aware, it will not work without batteries and the batteries might be an issue.

Sold.

Pentax ME Super

While I was in England for the summer I bought a few cameras on eBay. I did not get a chance to try all of them. Not this one though. I tried this one the day after it arrived. There are a few reasons for this. Here is the long story behind the camera.

Firstly, I had no intentions of buying another camera this summer, but a gift box arrived with a few unexpected items inside. One was a Tamron 2 Adaptall mount for a Canon camera. To be honest I had no idea what this mount was used for, internet to the rescue. Hmm, a lens that would fit many cameras, hence the “adapt-all”. Unfortunately, I did not have one of these lenses, internet to the rescue again, or eBay to be precise.

The cheapest one I could find came with a Pentax K mount. Perfect, a different adapter ….you might see where this is going.

The lens arrives and I try to swap the mounts, but try as I might I could not get the Canon one on my AE1 or A1. I wish I had found that website before I gave up, but no. So now I have a lens and no camera. Hello again eBay. I won a bid on a great package. A Pentax ME Super with a 50mm lens, with a case and all the manuals. Awesome, the Tamron lens I had was a 28mm. The whole lot arrived within a few days…but…

It didn’t work 😦

I will not repeat the words I said at the time. The issue was the battery compartment, surprise surprise. It was completely stuck and probably had some corroded batteries inside. There was no evidence on the outside. I contacted the seller and he offered me a refund, but I said I would work on it first if he accepted there might be some scratches on it. He said, “Go for it.”

Thinking of the gentleman who gave me the original adapter, who once wrote..soak the whole thing in vinegar, I decided to JUST take off the bottom plate and soak that in vinegar overnight.

The plate came off easily and there were no attached wires, the batteries dropped right out.

IMG_3085

There was very little damage inside the camera, but still, the compartment was stuck. Being in the UK, suffering from jetlag, and no Konbinis around, I opted for the malt kind of vinegar…good for chips, good for corrosion??
So I left it sitting overnight and tried it again in the morning.

Yatta!!!!IMG_3086

But would the camera work after suffering from corroded batteries.

Yatta!!!!!!

I was so proud of myself. Persistence is the key to success. So said Winston Churchill and Ray Kroc, plus a few million others.

And now finally, for the camera review.

The ME Super was produced from 1979-84 and it is tiny. I added a shot of it next to a Yashica for comparison, I thought that was more appropriate than a banana. As you can see from the photos, it has everything you might need, auto, manual, shutter lock, Bulb, ASA control, exposure compensation, a film advance window, and a battery override of 1/125th. To set the manual speeds you use the two black buttons next to the shutter. The film winder action is smooth and fairly short. Inside the viewfinder is a scale which lets you know the intended shooting speed with a green light, or orange for an issue. There is an over and under red warning light, but it will still fire. Here are some more technical details.

I loaded it up and went for a walk around my home town/village.

I love this camera! I also love the deer sign…you have as much chance of seeing a unicorn around there. Anyway, the camera is so light and easy to use. I love the Tamron Lens, it is a perfect addition to the 50mm. I loved it so much I brought it back to Japan with me, which was actually a bit dumb as I have a few here already. When I have it in the same country as the Canons I own I will try the adapter again.

Did you notice the two similar shots of the building? I tried seeing what would happen if I left the camera on the wrong setting, in this case over exposing by forgetting to adjust from being inside the Hepworth Museum….on purpose honest. It coped well.

Keep or Sell: The whole package is mine. When I put it with my other cameras here I realised I had a couple of other Pentaxes, the Spotmatic which I just fixed 🙂 And another, as yet untested one. Maybe I am switching my allegiance from Olympus or Yashica??

Plus a big thank you to my friend who sent the original adapter. Unfortunately, I don’t think he has a blog I can link to…he should get on that 😉